May 8-14 , 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #83
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.
Pictures: house 101 and locker houses
The Story: Closing of 124/125, resale of 108, sale
of 109 AND the next project
Weather: the rainy season has arrived-we often have
several hours of rain in the late afternoon to early
Units 101 / 102: The floor slab was poured on Monday.
Collar ties were framed. Paul noticed that the
framing was sufficient to support the spans, and
modifications are being made.
Lockers and Houses: Most of the wood framing for
the concrete has been removed. The upper structure is
substantially framed. The roof will be entirely
installed on Monday. Exterior boarding will begin
next week and should be finished by week's end. Then
we are dry above and below and we'll proceed on that
Landscaping: The ficus bejamina hedges and trees are
being trimmed-this occurs about three times a year.
All the plants are loving the rain. We've now rebuilt
all the pool pumps and replaced much of the filtration
system-we should be good for the next couple years.
Electrical System Upgrade: The saga (nightmare)
continues. No visible progress. The switch was
acknowledged by the distributor of the transformer to
be faulty. Warranty is still not settled.
Transition: another week of NO problems-business,
mechanical as well as telecommunications systems
worked flawlessly-and this continues to be progress!
Internet: Rock Solid!! This, too, is progress.
Dog: He is now free ranging at night. We had to
teach him not to chase cats so put up an invisible
barrier which activates an electrode on his collar.
He learns fast.
Marketing: We closed on 124 / 125 and I got finishing
instructions from the new owners.
The new owner of 108 who is also the owner of 120 were
on site this week. I have some instructions from them
re. decorating and modifications.
A person who had hoped to buy 108 subsequently decided
to buy 109. That will close next Friday. That leaves
us with three units-110 / 112 - each leased for 2
years, and 115 which will be available around July.
There is still the question of 102-the house under
ours which is the last to be built. Lita wants it but
Next Project: The vendor of the land has reduced his
asking price some but he hasn't come down enough.
We've given him a figure at which we'll be prepared to
talk with him and cut him a check.
I completed the pro forma. It's been reviewed by two
people. Both have expressed interest in it. Since it
is based on a vision and no site plan, it will
probably undergo substantial changes. In it, I
assumed we are building 40 detached houses and 40
multiunit condo apartments with substantial water
features and landscaping. We have several different
investment scenarios-sale outright of up to 40% of our
interest and/or the sale of up to 10 houses / 10
condos at a 15% discount to pre-construction prices.
Those who have followed the development at Los
Jardines know how profitable this has been for our
The sequence of events is that once we have secured
the land, we will proceed to develop a site plan with
lots and common element land and features. This will
then allow us to refine the pro forma and reconfirm
and / or to request definitive expressions of interest
and to possibly accept reservations. This stage would
be followed by detailing the legals.
Healthcare in Costa Rica: My experience: Over the
past several weeks, I've been going through a series
of medical tests. While I had one particular concern
brought with me from Canada I also wanted a general
physical since it had been two years since my last
I sought out and was referred through a previous
resident to a specialist in internal medicine at CIMA
hospital. I got an appointment in two weeks. The
first visit is data gathering. A series of blood
tests and X-rays and a full set of ultrasound
images--$300. I received the instructions from the
doc, went to where I was told, checked in, paid my fee
according to what was to be done, didn't have time to
sit down before I surrendered my body for the
tests.-fast and efficient.
Those tests indicated a further follow up with a
different specialist which I had expected.
That appointment took 3 days to happen. When
reviewing my history, he was very, very critical of
the advice I had been given in Canada. He used the
term "criminal recommendation". I scheduled another
test-complete bone scan. I went to schedule the
procedure-it could be done immediately. I paid my
$300, and the procedure was started immediately. This
would never have happened in Toronto... AND for some
reason, there is a decent discount if you are a member
of PriceSmart-go figure!!!!!
I also selected a dentist-a clinic had just opened
very near here. Three days waiting time until my
appointment. First the cleaning-just like I had
experienced in Canada with two new pieces of
technology: a digital X-ray and flat screen
presentation, a whole digital head/mouth scan - the
image flipped up on the screen almost instantly and
the dentist was able to enlarge and otherwise
manipulate it. Another piece of technology I hadn't
seen before was a laser probe to detect
cavities-somehow there is a change in the frequency
and it gives of an audible alert when it detects a
cavity-probably by density or hardness. The last
thing which was new to me was a type of sandblasting
of the teeth-this being an adjunct to the cleaning
process and an attempt to wipe away 60 years of
ordinary staining. Cleaning took about an hour -$30;
the X-rays- $15. (yes, I have one cavity).
So far the experience has been so very, very different
(and so much better) than in Canada...
I spent 5 hours -from 1pm to 6pm- going to 5 different
stores and two of those 5 stores twice-just to by
towels, bedding, sheets for 120. Sometimes it's
really difficult to put things together here -this was
probably the worst I've experienced.
Lita: The purchaser(s) of 108 and 120 arrived on
Thursday (I had mistakenly spent several hours on
Wednesday night at the airport waiting for their
arrival-my mistake. They took us to a late dinner at
the Argentinean restaurant and the principal gave Lita
a BEAUTIFUL gold and diamond bracelet as a belated
birthday present. He really wowed her and upped the
anti for me. It was all a lot of fun... she
reciprocated the next night with dinner for them which
was very appreciated especially after an ill fated
trip they took to view some beach view property - it
was a wash out and not what they had been told. They
were very disappointed that their time had been
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon